Book Review: Hatching Twitter

TwitterThis weekend I finished the book ‘Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal’ by Nick BiltonWritten in 2014, the book goes into the story of how the social media giant Twitter, was born. 

 While some books written about businesses can be rather dry, this book was written in a novel style and featured a few photos, email text and plenty of behind the scenes drama, not to mention a little peek into Silicon Valley. Before reading the book, I hadn’t thought too much about Twitters history, but the last few times I have opened the app since finishing the book, I definitely thought deeper into it. A few fun facts 

  1. Despite popular belief, Twitter was not a result of one person’s idea. It was created by accident after a few failed start-ups and the four people who deserve the credit are Ev Williams, Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, and Noah Glass.  
  2. There was a major divide on how the app should be used. Today, when you go to type a Tweet, the question “What’s happening?” pops up. However, at one point it said, “what are you doing?” As minimal as this may seem, it’s a key indicator on the divide between wanting Twitter to be a place to share what you are doing vs. a place where you share what’s going on around you.  
  3. Ashton Kutcher, Vice President Al Gore and Facebook all tried to purchase Twitter in its earlier days.
  4. Twitter has a character limit because initially Jack Dorsey designed it to be an SMS-based platform.
  5. Twitter employees did not ever intend to start using the ever-popular hashtag. Users started incorporating them into their tweets to tie them together and Twitter introduced the hashtag search tool and trending topics a few years later.  
While learning fun facts about a social platform we use for clients daily was interesting, the part that really fascinates me is how the business was built and the failures and drama it took to get there. As current CEO and founder Jack Dorsey once said “Expect the unexpected. And whenever possible be the unexpected.” If you’re looking for a book that will teach you a thing or two about the true history of how the world started tweeting and want a peek at what goes on behind the scenes of tech companies, but does so in an entertaining, novel-style way, I recommend checking out this book.


Rachel Lowe

Digital Marketing Manager

Rachel is a young veteran in the marketing industry with expertise in both digital and traditional marketing. She currently leads the agency's digital services with experience supporting numerous brands, including Bruegger’s Bagels, The Container Store, JOANN Stores, Mr. Chicken, San Diego Lighting Association and more. Rachel holds certificates in HubSpot, Email Marketing, SEO/SEM, Google AdWords, Google Analytics, Sprout Social and Video Advertising. She is also a member of the PRSA Cleveland board of directors and is the VP of Communications on the executive committee. Most recently she received the PRSA Rising Star Award, recognizing and honoring an outstanding professional with seven or fewer years of experience. A proud graduate of The Ohio State University, she holds a bachelor’s in strategic communication, and minors in fashion and retail studies and professional writing. Rachel is also certified in Digital Marketing Strategies Data, Automation, AI & Analytics from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management Executive Education program.